The safeguarding of intangible heritage is necessary for the survival of cultures

Ministère de la Culture, du Patrimoine historique classé, des Langues nationales et de la Francophonie,
14 January 2009, Senegal

The survival of local cultures, their ability to defy time, will require the preservation of our heritage, not only the protection of our languages and traditions but also their international, even global, expansion, commented the Director of the Cabinet of the Ministry of Culture.

Certainly, the importance of the tangible heritage is well-established, "said Lamine Seydi, but''it would be illusory to think that it could only, in the absence of any form of culture, testify for generations ''he said at the opening of a subregional seminar on''Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage'' in Dakar on wednesday.

Aware of this''truth'', he pointed out, Member States of UNESCO adopted on the one hand, an agreement in 2003 on''the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage'', and secondly another agreement in 2005 on the''protection and promotion of intangible heritage.''

Both instruments will be the focus of the proceedings of this meeting organized by the National Commission of UNESCO, but also articulate ''the reflections of participants from the sub-region, on ways and means to make cultural industries vectors of the preservation and promotion of intangible heritage.''

On this level, said Seydi, African countries, are ''well aware of the issues, have developed individual policies' and exploited the economic potential of cultural heritage.'' 

The full and original article is available in French.